The Hummingbird's Cageby Tamara Dietrich
Rating: 4 Star
Joanna and Jim seem to be the perfect couple.
He is a respected deputy sheriff and she appears to be a happy, contented wife. Living in Wheeler, New Mexico, US together they have a young daughter called Laurel.
However, behind closed doors Jim is a violent monster. Joanna bears the mental and physical scars from years of his abuse and now lives in constant fear of both her and Laurel's life.
Will a stranger's unexpected offer finally provide a means of escape?
Warning: the opening chapters of this book are really graphic and intense to read.
The descriptions of verbal, mental, physical abuse that Joanna suffers at the hand of Jim are really well written, and are therefore really difficult to read.
By jumping around the timeline of their relationship, Dietrich perfectly illustrates how Jim has effectively isolated Joanna from her friends and effectively made her a prisoner in the town where he knows everyone and is respected for his law enforcement position.
The graphic depictions of abuse may lead some people to abandon the story after first couple of chapters. However, I would really encourage you to continue reading past this as the plot soon takes a really unexpected twist.
The book even enters a whole new genre when Joanna, on the run from Jim, finds herself in the mysterious town of Morro. The middle section of the Hummingbird's Cage focuses on the inhabitants of Morro, Joanna's healing, and the decisions on where her life should lead next.
Despite the scenes of graphic domestic abuse, I thought that the overall tone of this novel was of hope and redemption. Joanna's visit to Morro is really quite magical and the plot twist was really up there with Gone Girl and The Girl On The Train, with possibly a little bit of The Sixth Sense thrown in.
Joanna and Laurel's characters are really-well described and Dietrich has an excellent ability of bringing out fine detail in her writing (possibly influenced by Dietrich's journalism work).
This was a gripping thriller with a dose of magic thrown in. Highly recommended.
I received a free copy of this book via NetGalley in exchange for a honest review.